I asked for someone to give their thoughts on the game and “Sir Earl Barrett” has duly obliged. Cheers mate;
I went to Stoke yesterday, not particularly full of hope but I took my son to his first away game. I should point out that sadly I watched the full 90 minutes stone cold sober. As the minutes ticked on it became abundantly clear that we are a truly awful football club and something drastic has got to happen for it to change. We have the weakest squad in our club’s proud history and a manager as deluded as any you care to name.
We literally couldn’t string two passes together. If you think I’m exaggerating, check it out. Our pass completion was just short of 62%! Compare that to two very average teams who met yesterday – Sunderland and Norwich who managed 85% and 80% respectively. The players were barely able to control the ball with it bouncing away from them to safety a number of times when we were through on goal, and Westwood being booked for a late tackle as he lunged to retrieve a mis-controlled ball. They looked totally devoid of any ideas and we never looked like threatening the goal other than the time Stoke gifted Kozak.
Defensively we looked shot, the two goals from a very, very poor Stoke team were laughable. Baker, Herd and Clark are 3 very poor players. The midfield creates nothing: we have Delph as the best of a bad bunch but he’s a ball winner. Albrighton looked lively but his decision making was often poor and Tonev and Westwood were anonymous. I agree that Weimann appears to be turning into a shadow of last season. Kozak worked hard but that’s not enough I’m afraid.
Then we come to the manager who came out with this absolute gem, making me wonder if I’d dreamt the whole painful experience.
“I thought we were excellent in the first half. The wind was very strong but even in the second half we had chances. It was a very close game.
“We thought when we got it 1-1 that we might have gone on. We will go again. I don’t think we deserved to lose.”
We are a club which has gone so far backwards that it’s fewer of us that can remember when we used to be good, where you went to a home game expecting to win or at least compete.
Lerner isn’t going so I think he’s got two options – the lower league experiment has failed. Option one is to come clean and let the fans know, like all the other small clubs do, that anything above 17th is a success. Be honest and you may get a bit of respect amongst the cries of pain from people like me who remember the days before Sky ruled the world. The second option is this. He sacks Faulkner and brings in someone who knows the game. Lambert goes and they bring someone proven in, and tells him he’s going to spend big the first transfer window but plus whatever he generates through sales. He also publicly guarantees that he’s got three years at least. Benitez was prepared to come last time so please don’t say who would we get? People go where the money is, and there’s no reason we couldn’t attract someone if we were prepared to make the working conditions right, same as any other industry.
Folks, we are dying the death of a thousand cuts here, and a couple of good results over Christmas may stop it temporarily but for those that witnessed that yesterday, it will not mask the fact that we are going nowhere fast. This isn’t transition; it’s a state of fact. Merry Christmas chaps and chapesses, you deserve a medal!